Planning on upgrading your wardrobe? Recycle some old gear to help save on something new.
H&M, M&S. Schuh, John Lewis and New Look all have schemes that let you swap old clothes for vouchers.
It’s a great way to clear the clutter and save money at the same time. Plus it’s far better for items to go to charity or get recycled than adding to a landfill.
H&M clothes recycling scheme (£5 voucher)
Donate any bag of old clothes or unwanted garments into an H&M shop and you’ll be given a £5 voucher to spend as part of the H&M Garment Collection programme. In theory you’ll get a voucher per bag of clothes so you can get multiple vouchers. However there is a £25 minimum spend with each voucher.
So what can be in the bag? Well you don’t need to have any H&M products to get the voucher. And you can also donate any kind of textile, whether its curtains or knickers as the fabrics are all recycled.
You can also do the same at H&M’s Monki and & Other Stories brands. The latter also has a beauty recycling programme where you get 10% off their cosmetics if you take in your empty beauty product.
M&S and Oxfam’s Shwopping Clothes Exchange (£5 voucher/freebie)
There are two ways to get something back via Marks and Spencer and Oxfam.
Get a £5 off £35 voucher
Hand over your old gear at an Oxfam and you’ll also get a £5 voucher to spend on clothes in Marks and Spencer.
One item must be labelled M&S, and you can only use the voucher in the same calendar month. There’s a minimum £35 spend and it’s only valid on clothing, home or beauty.
I asked in a store a while ago if you can use the voucher with other offers and the checkout woman said she’d seen the vouchers be used with Sparks offers such as 20% off everything. So it’s worth grabbing one of these to use when those deals come around.
Get a Sparks freebies
Or if you want to drop clothes off at an M&S Store you’ll be able to scan a QR code to receive a free treat via the M&S Sparks loyalty scheme.
This is a new option that is being trialed in some stores from May 2021. You’ll have to pop into a shop to see if it’s running there or not.
There’s no information online about this offer so all the details I have are from asking in-store when I spotted the donation bin. It seems to work that you can get the Sparks offer every 30 days.
When I tried it the gift was a free pastry from the in-store bakery and I had 30 days to claim it. The M&S staff member who also tried it with me got the same promotion but I was told the offer will change and will be tailored to each person.
Clothes are still donated to Oxfam but you won’t get the £5 off voucher. My donation wasn’t checked to see if it included an M&S item.
Schuh “Sell Your Soles” scheme (£5 voucher)
You can get a £5 voucher to use at Schuh for every pair of shoes you donate. The shoes are donated to Recyclatex with around 98% of materials reused.
You can use your voucher online or in-store on items at full price costing more than £25.
John Lewis “Buy Back” (paused)
Select John Lewis stores will give you credit for returning old clothes. You can only take back John Lewis branded items or brands sold by the department store, and it’s only men’s and women’s fashion – not childrens.
You’ll get £3 per item, and up to £9 credit can be used towards another purchase. You need to make the new purchase at the same time you return the items.
It’s currently paused and was also only at selected stores before the pandemic. Here’s more on how the scheme works.
New Look and Hospice UK’s partnership (paused)
Another scheme is over at New Look. You’ll get a voucher worth 20% off full-price New Look items if you donate a bag of clothing to a participating hospice charity shop. The clothes must be of a decent condition that the shops will be able to sell them on. The voucher can only be used once but you can continue to make donations in exchange for as many times as you want. You can only use the vouchers in New Look shops, not online.
The offer was due to end on 31st March 2020 and now seems to be paused but I hope it’ll restart when Hospice UK shops fully reopen.
Donate to cancer research via TK Maxx (no voucher)
You can take a bag of unwanted clothes to TK Maxx who will pass it on to Cancer Research to sell or recycle. Cancer Research will keep all the proceeds.